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May 1st, 2dand 3d, 1839. 

P H I L A D E L r II I A : 

No. 7 Carter'' s Mley. 



Proceedings of the Third Anti-Slavery Convention of 
Women, assembled from various parts of the United 
States in the Hall of the Pennsylvania Riding School, 
in the city of Philadelphia, on Wednesday , the 1st 
day of May, 1S39. 

At 10| o'clock, the Convention was called to order, and 
Mary Grew, of Philadelphia, appointed President, pro. tern. 

Martha V. Ball, of Boston, and Anna M. Hopper, of Phi- 
ladelphia, were chosen Secretaries, pro. tern. 

On motion, the credentials of delegates were received and 

On motion, 

Jiesolved, That all persons present, who are friendly to the cause of immediate 
emancipation, be invited to enrol their names as members of this Convention. 

On the nomination of a committee appointed at a pre- 
liminary meeting of delegates, the following officers of the 
Convention were elected: 

SARAH LEWIS, of Philadelphia, President. 
Mary Ann W. Johnson, of Boston, Mass., "] 
Eliza Barney, of Nantucket, do. j 

Mehitabel Sunderland, of city of N. York, [Vice Presi- 
Martha W. Storks, do. f dents. 

LucRETiA MoTT, of Philadelphia, Pa. 
Grace Douglass, do. 

Martha V. Ball, of Boston, Mass. 
Sarah G. Buffum, of Fall River, do. . ^ . . 

Anna M. Hopper, of Philadelphia, Pa. f 

Mary Grew, do. 

Sarah Douglass, do. Treasurer. 

On motion, 

Hesolved, That the mcL'tings of this Convention maj' be opened with reading 
the Scriptures, and with pi-aj'er or observing a season of silence. 

The ninetieth Psahii was then read hy the President, 
and praj'er offered by Martha W. Storrs. 

On motion, the following persons were appointed a com- 
mittee to prepare business for the Convention : 
Mary Grew, 


Sarah Pugh, J> Pennsylvania. 

Hannah M, Darlington, 

Susan Grew, 

Mary Ann Rhodes, 

Rachel G. C. Paten, ^ 

Martha W, Storrs, V New York. 

Mary Murray, ) 

Martha V. Ball, > ,^ i .. 

TVT A \\T J c Massachusetts. 

Mary Ann W. Johnson, 3 

On motion of Lucretia Mott, seconded by Mary Ann W. 

Resolved, That all business intended for presentation to this Convention, shall 
be laid before the Business Comnaittee, but that any document or resolution rejected 
by this Committee, may be presented to the Convention, by the author or mover, 
if dissatisfied with the decision of the Committee. 

On motion, adjourned to 4 o'clock, P. M. 

Wednesday Afternoon, May 1. 

The Convention was called to order at 4 o'clock, and 
opened by reading the Scriptures, and a season of silence. 

Letters from Providence, Pennsgrove, Salem, the Wes- 
leyan Society of New York City, and from Dorchester, were 
read by the Secretaries. 

The following resolution was offered by Hannah L. 

Resolved, That we are especially called upon, at the present crisis, to sustain 
the original principle upon which the Anti-Slavery cause is based, viz., tliat slavery 
is a sin, and ought immediately to be abolished ; and that we will welcome to our 
ranks all who adopt, and practise upon it, regardless of their opinions on other 

This resolution was sustained by the mover, Mary Grew, 
Martha Smith, Lucretia Mott, and others, and was unani- 
mously adopted. 

Abby Kimber offered the following resolution: 

Whereas, Petitions to Congress have effected much good hy exciting discussion, 
and calling forth some who have nobly defended both the cause of abolition and the 
right of petition; therefore, 

Resolved, That we will continue to exercise this right, and, this year, use greater 
diligence, if possible, in circulating petitions to Congress for the abolition of slavery 
and the slave trade within its jurisdiction ; and that we will not be discouraged, 
though they should again be laid on the table. 

This resolution was supported by the mover, Martha W. 
Storrs, Sarah Pugh, Mary Murray, Martha V. Ball, and 
many others, and was unanimously adopted. 

On motion of Mary Murray, 

Whereas, Slavery may be considered one of the greatest infringements of the 
law of peace and love, which should govern mankind, therefore, 

Resolved, That the endeavor to effect its abolition, ought ever to be ranked 
among the most important of our moral duties. 

Adopted unanimously, without discussion. 
On motion, adjourned to Thursday morning at IO5 

Thursday Morning, May 2. 

The Convention was called to order, and opened by 
reading the 46th Psalm, and prayer by Mary Grew. 

The Business Committee presented an Address to the 
Society of Friends, which was read and adopted. 

On motion, a Committee on Publications was appoint- 
ed, consisting of Sarah Pugh, Mary Earle, Sarah Lewis, 
Anna M. Hopper, and Sarah Dorsey. 

On motion of Sarah Pugh, 

Resolved, That the complete emancipation of the British West India islands, 
affords additional evidence, if such were wanting, that truth and right will finally 
prevail, and that the word of the Lord will go on conquering and to conquer, until 
the kingdoms of the earth act upon the conviction, that it is " righteousness that 
exalteth a nation." 

This resolution was sustained by the mover and others. 
L. Mott informed the meeting that a messenger from the 
Mayor had just called her out to inquire at what time our 

Convention would close, as he had some officers in wailing 
whom he would like to disperse. She had returned answer 
that she could not tell when our business would be finished, 
but that we had not asked, and, she presumed, did not wish 
his aid. She further stated, that the Mayor had called upon 
her a lew days ago, and inquired where the Convention 
would be held — if it would be confined to women — if to 
white women, or white and colored — if our meetings would 
be held only in the day time, and how long they would 
continue; — expressing his determination to prevent, if pos- 
sible, the recurrence of last year's outrages. He suggested 
that we should hold our meetings in Clarkson Hall, which 
was already guarded by his officers; that we should not 
meet in the evening, should avoid unnecessary walking 
with colored people, and close our Convention as soon as 
possible. She replied, that Clarkson Hall would not, pro- 
bably, be large enough for us. We did not apprehend 
danger in meeting at the house proposed; she doubted the 
necessity of such protection as he contemplated. We should 
not be likely to have evening meetings; for, to the shame 
of Philadelphia be it spoken, the only building we could 
procure of sufficient size, had but a barn roof, was without 
ceiling, and could not, therefore, easily be lighted for such 
a meeting; — that we had never made a parade, as charged 
upon us, of walking with colored people, and should do as 
we had done before — walk with them as occasion offered; — 
that she had done so repeatedly within the last month, 
meeting with no insult on that account; it was a principle 
with us, which we could not yield, to make no distinction 
on account of color; that she was expecting delegates from 
Boston of that complexion, and should, probably, accom- 
pany them to the place of meeting. 

A resolution on the influence of the efforts of young per- 
sons to promote the anti-slavery cause, was offered, and 
after a protracted discussion, was returned to the Business 
Committee for revision. 

On motion, Hannah L. Stickney, and Clarissa C. Law- 
rence, were added to the Business Committee. 
On motion, adjourned to 4 o'clock, P. M. 

Thursday Afternoon, May 2. 

The Convention was called to order at 4 o'clock, and 
opened by reading the Scriptures, and a season of silence. 

Martha V. Ball offered the following resolution, which 
was seconded by Elizabeth T. Bunting: 

Whereas, The consumers of the produce of slave labor, are offering the 
strongest incentive to the slaveholder to continuehis system of oppression, therefore, 

Resolved, That this Convention recommend to abolitionists to abstain from ti»e 
use of such products, that we may not be guilty of participation in the sin which 
we condemn, and that, to the power of solemn precepts, we may add that of a pure 

Lucretia Mott, Martha Storrs, and others, sustained this 
resolution by remarks, enforcing the importance of carefully 
examining our own practice in relation to the subject, re- 
minding us of the keen rebukes of slaveholders, who style 
themselves the agents of the northern consumers of slave pro- 
duce, and exhorting members cheerfully to make pecuniary 
sacrifices in order to procure articles of food and clothing, 
which arethe products of requited labor, Itwas suggested that 
we should regard slave labor produce as the fruits of the 
labor of our own children, brothers, and sisters, and from 
such a view decide on the propriety of using it. 

The increasing facilities for procuring articles produced 
by free labor, were advanced as affording an additional 
argument for abstinence, and the sacrifices which we require 
of the slaveholder, as a reason for our encouraging him by 
our example. 

The resolution was adopted. 

A circular on petitions, presented by the Business Com- 
mittee, was read and adopted. 

Elizabeth L. B. Stickney oflered the following resolution: 

Whereas, Our principle, in regard to prejudice against color, remains un- 
changed by persecution, therefore, 

Resolved, Tiial we will continue to act in accordance with our profession that 

the moral and intellectual ciiaractei' ol' persons, and not their complexion, should 
mark the sphere in which they are to move. 

This resolution was defended by tlic mover and otliers, 
in brief remarks, and illustrations of the cruelty of preju- 
dice; and was adopted without a dissenting vote. 

Adjourned to Friday morning, 10 o'clock. 

Friday Morning, May 3. 

The Convention, being called to order, was opened by 
the reading of the Scriptures by the President, and prayer 
offered by Mehitabel Sunderland. 

On motion of Susan Grew, 

Resolved, That henceforth we will increase our eflbrts to improve the condition 
of our free colored population, by giving them mechanical, literary, and I'eligious 
instruction, and assisting to establish them in trades, and such other employments 
as are now denied them on account of their color. 

This resolution was sustained by the mover, who spoke 
of the difficulty with which teachers are procured for Sun- 
day schools of colored children, and urged all members, 
who engaged in such an employment, to inquire if it is not 
their duty to give such schools the preference, above those 
where teachers are easily obtained. 

It was seconded by Clarissa C. Lawrence, who said, 
We meet the monster prejudice every where. We have 
not power to contend with it, we are so down-trodden. We 
cannot elevate ourselves. You must aid us. We have 
been brought up in ignorance; our parents were ignorant, 
they could not teach us. We want light; we ask it, and it 
is denied us. Why are we thus treated? Prejudice is the 
cause. It kills its thousands every day; it follows us every 
where, even to the grave; but, blessed be God! it stops 
there. You must pray it down. Faith and prayer will do 
wonders in the anti-slavery cause. Place yourselves, dear 
friends, in our stead. We are blamed for not filling useful 
places in society; but give us light, give us learning, and 
see then what places we can occupy. Go on, I entreat you. 
A brighter day is dawning. I bless God that the young 

are interested in this cause. It is worth coming all the way 
from Massachusetts, to see what I have seen here. 

The resolution was supported by many others, and 

On motion, 

Resolved, That pledges of money for defraying Uie expenses of the Convention, 
be now received. 

The following pledges were then made. 


Alroira Barnes, Troy, N.Y., * 1.00 
L. B. Stickney, Newbury port, 

Mass., 3.00 

H. L. Stickney, Mass., 3.00 

-Vf. T. Stickney, " 3.00 

Catharine G. Shove, for Mill 

ville F. A. S. S., 

Boston, Mass., 


Salem, " 


Lynn, « 


Concord, " 


Pall river, " 




New York City, New York, 


N. y. Fern. Wes., ' 



Clarkson, Crosswicks 

N. J. 


Philadelphia, Pennsy 



Northern Liberties, 



Clarkson, Chester co. 


5 GO 










Montgomery co., 



Lower Merion, 



Delaware co. 



Buckingham, Bucks, 



Lower Makefield, 








Total, $194.00 

lO.O) Mary Murray, New York city, 
Mary Ann M'Clintock and Sarah 

Hunt, Waterloo, Seneca co., 

N. Y. 
Mary Arnold, Philadelphia, 
Jane Fussel, do. 

A Friend from Germantown, 
Rebecca Shaw, Philadelphia, 
Mary Ann Willis, do. 
Rebecca Harrison, New Jersey, 
Mary S. Rich, New York city, 
Rachel Basset, Wilmington, Del. 
Priscilla Daves, Germantown, 
Elizabeth G. Butler, Philada., 
Sarah B. Pepper, do. 

Deboraii Marot, do. 

S. V. 
E. L. C. 

Sarah H. Palmer, 
Phebe W.Thomas, Downingtown, 
Mary and Sarah Pennock, Phil. 
Rachel C. Sellers, do. 

Elizabeth Warner, Bristol, Pa. 
Susanna S. Albertson, N. J. 
A Friend, 

























Total, $ 38.75 
From Societies, 194.00 


On motion adjourned to 4 o'clock, P. M. 

Friday Afternoon, May 3. 
The Convention was called to order, and a portion of 



Scripture read by the President, and prayer offered by 
Martha W. Storrs. 

On motion, the Treasurer's report was read and adopted. 

On motion of Teresa Kimber, 

Resolved, That it is our duty to deny ourselves some of the luxuries and super- 
fluities in vvliicli we indulge, that we may more liberally aid in the promotion of 
Anti-Slavery principles tiiroughout the land. 

The following resolution was offered by Mary T. Stickney : 

Resolved, That we deeply regret the inconsistency of those professed ministers 
of tlie gospel, wlio, while they preach the holy doctrine of " Love thy neighbor as 
tliyself," exert their influence in opposition to those who endeavor to practise it. 

It was sustained by the mover, in the following remarks: 

This resolution refers to a class of individuals, among 
whom are many of our most determined opponents. Armed 
with learning, science, and wit, they are ingenious in de- 
vising terms of reproach, and assailing with ridicule the wo- 
men engaged in this cause. They can plead for the heathen 
in China, and describe a terrestrial paradise in Liberia, but 
do all in their power to retard us in our work. Not content 
with passing by the poor slave themselves, they would pre- 
vent us from extending to him the light of the gospel. The 
excommunication of devoted Christians from the church, etc., 
are but a development of their hostility to the holy cause of 
good will toward man, without regard to color. It is this 
inconsistency which we regret, — it is this spirit which we are 
called upon to meet, and against which, upon all proper op- 
portunities, we should bear our testimony. 

After some discussion, the resolution was adopted. 

On motion of Eliza Barney, 

Resolved, That we view, with peculiar satisfaction, the efforts of young people 
to promote the abolition of slavery, not only because they have a tendency to im- 
prove the moral condition of mankind, but also are a stimulus to the exercise of 
those mighty energies of mind, which, for want of being employed on proper ob- 
jects, either lie dormant, or are used to minister to the vices which degrade, instead 
of the virtues which ennoble mankind. 

Martha V. Ball offered the following resolution: 

Resolved, Tliat, as women professing Christianity, we will, through Christ 
strengtiieniiig us, never hide the truth of God in relation to the subject of slavery, 
though, by maintaining that truth, we should he made partakers in tlie sufferings 


of those who, through laitli, endured bonds and imprisonment, not accepting de- 

The mover, in sustaining this resolution, remarked, that 
it might be regarded as taking high ground, but she thought 
that it was not higher than abolitionists had always taken. 

Sarah G. Buffum said:— I hope this resolution will pass; 
but I hope that no person will vote for it, who is not pre- 
pared to act up to it. I believe we have not seen the worst 
of our persecutions; and I think we should prepare for them, 
and that no person should now be an abolitionist who is 
not willing to go even to the stake, if need be. 

It was opposed by Mary Murray, Teresa Kimber, Sa- 
rah Lewis, and others, on the ground that it wore an osten- 
tatious aspect; that we were not, at present, suffering per- 
secution; that, by adopting it, we subjected ourselves to the 
danger of dishonoring our cause, by breaking our promises; 
and that we might perform the same duties without such a 
pledge. The sad example of Peter's violated vows, was 
adduced as a warning to us. 

Those who defended the resolution, urged in reply, that 
it was not a stronger, or more solemn pledge, than the vows 
which we take upon us by a profession of Christianity; that 
we have good examples for the expression of such resolu- 
tions, in the language of an apostle, who said — " I can do all 
things through Christ which strengtheneth me;" and who 
asserted that neither " tribulation nor distress, nor persecu- 
tion nor famine, nor nakedness nor peril, nor sword," 
should separate him from the love of Christ. 

It was replied to the allusion to Peter's conduct, tliat his 
fault consisted, not in making, but in breaking his pro- 
mises; and also, that the phraseology of our resolution dif- 
fered a little, from his language; that if he had said, " In 
thy strength, I will not deny thee," he probably never 
would have done so. 

Mira Orum remarked, that, if we carry out in our practice 
the resolutions already passed by this Convention, we shall 
have need to recur to this resolution during the year. 


After a long discussion, the resolution was adopted. 

The Business Committee presented an Appeal to Ameri- 
can Women, on the subject of Prejudice against Color, which 
was read and adopted. 

On motion of Hannah L. Stickney, 

Resolved, That we acknowletlge, with heartfelt gratitude, the protection afforded 
us by our Heavenly Fatiier, during the sittings of this Convention ; and that we 
feel sensible that it is through the assistance of His Spirit we have been enabled to 
conduct our deliberations with so much profit and harmonj-. 

On motion of Clarissa C. Lawrence, 

Resolved, That this Convention express tlieir thanks to their friends in Philadel- 
phia, who have so kindly extended lo them their hospitality. 

On motion of Mary Ann W. Johnson, 

Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns, it adjourn to meet in the citj of 
Boston, in the year 1840 ; the time in that year to be left to the decision of a com- 
mittee of nine persons, residing in the cities of Boston, New "York, and Phila- 

On motion, 

Resolved, That this Conmiittee consist of Mary S. Parker, Maria W. Chapman, 
Martha V. Ball, of Boston, Sarah T. Smith, Juliana Tappan, Mehitabel Sunder- 
land, of New York, and Lucretia Mott, Sarah Pugh, and Mary Grew, of Phila- 

Prayer was offered by Martha V. Ball, and the Conven- 
tion adjourned. 

SARAH LEWIS, President. 
Martha V. Ball, ~j 

Mary Grew, [ Secretaries. 

Anna M. Hopper, 
Sarah G. Buffum, 




Martha V. Ball, Boston. 
Mary Ann W. Johnson, do. 
Julia Williams, do. 

Clarissa C. Lawrence, Salem. 
Mary C. Fry, do. 

Hannah Buffum, Lynn. 
Elizabeth L. B. Ht'ickney , jYewburyport 
Hannah L. Stickney, do. 

Mary T. Stickney, do. 

Mary B. Hey wood, Concord. 
Sarah G. Buffum, Fall River. 
Eliza Barney, j\'antucket. 
Eliza Nicholson, do. 


Elizabeth Mason, Providence. 


Mehitabel Sunderland, ^Veto York city. 
Rachel G. G. Paten, do. 

Martha W. Storrs, do. 

Sarah E. Peirce, do. 


Martha R. Ellis, Crosswicks. 
Eliza Black, do. 

Mary Rogers, do. 


Lucretia Mott, Philadelphia. 

Sidney Ann Lewis, do. 

Sarah Pugh, do. 

Sarah M. Douglass, do. 

Mary Grew, do. 

Sarah H. Jackson, do. 

Elizabeth T. Bunting, do. 

Olive Bacon, do. 

Mary W. Corlies, do. 

Grace Douglass, do. 

Sarah Lewis, do. 

Maria Pearson, do. 

Harriet D. Purvis, do. 

Sarah Webb, do. 

Huldah Justice, do. 

Anna M. Hopper, do. 
Elizabeth Konigmacher, do. 

Mira Orum, do. 

Deborah Marot, do. 

Mary Townsend, do. 

Eliza Colley, do. 

Hannah Purnell, do. 

Ruth Harding, do. 
Mary P. Egan, JK'orthern Liberties. 
Rebecca Teese, do. 

Mary B. Smith, do. 

Rebecca Hawkins, do. 

Mary Earle, do. 


Elizabeth J. Gillinghain, J\i'. Liberties. 

Elizabeth F, Ellis, do. 

Elizabeth Paxson, do. 

Lydia Bradway, do. 

Ann J. Smith, do. 

Ann E. Sellers, Delaware county. 

Anna Poole, do. 

Marj^ Ann Rhoads, do. 

Alice Sellers, do. 

Rebecca Fussell, > do. 

]{achel Sharpless, Chester county. 

Sarah Hambleton, do. 

Ann Preston, do. 

Beulah Preston, do. 

Henrietta Simmons, do. 

Lydia Moore, do. 

Rebecca J. Preston, do. 

Esther Hayes, do. 

Sarah T. Harvey, Kennett. 

Mary Harlan, do. 

Lydia Bernard, do. 

Hannah Cox, , do. 

Hannah M. Darlington, do. 

Dinah Mendenhall, do. 

Hannah Haymer, do. 

Abby Kimber, Kimbertoii. 

Marianne Lewis, do. 

Grace Anna Lewis, do. 

Anna T. Gordon, Uxuchlan. 

Hannah Corson, JVIontgomery county. 

Mary Ann H. Thomas, do. 

Rebecca B. Thomas, do. 

Hannah Adamson, do. 

Caroline Jones, do. 

Elizabeth M . Jacobs, do. 

Abby Bowman, Loiver Jllerion. 

Mary J. Fussell, do. 

Maria Douglass, do. 

Mary S. Bowman, do. 

Sarah Ely, Buckingham. 

Elizabeth Ely, do. 

Martha Hampton, do. 

Martha Smith, do. 

Anna T. Magill, do. 

Mercy Ely, do. 

Sarah Beans, Lower JHakefield. 

Elizabeth Linton, do. 

Rebecca Hampton, Pineville. 

Rebecca Trego, do. 

Esther Smith, do. 

Ellen Smith, do. 

Elizabeth Heston, do. 

Phebe .\tkinson, do. 

.\.L, 10'2. 




Mary S. Rich, JVew Fork. 

Ann M. Moore, Rochester, JV*. F. 

Teressa J. Kiinber, Philadelphia. 

Phebe Hussej', jr. do. 

Margaret Uandolph, do. 

Rebecca J. Sellers, Upper Darby. 

Almira Barnes, Troy, JV". Y. 

Phebe Earle, Philadelphia. 

Mary Murray, JVew York city. 

Susanna S. Albertson, JYew Jersey. 

Sarah B. I'epper, Philadelphia. 

Jane Boustead, do. 

Mary C. E'ennock, do. 

Catharine G. Shove, do. 

Ann B. Percival, do. 

Rosanna Thompson, do. 

Margaret Sellers, Pennsylvania. 

Gulielma Cook, do. 

Phebe W. Thomas, Downington, Pa. 

Jane L. Shoemaker, Pennsylvania. 

Mary Huddleson, do. 

Hannah Coates, Philadelphia. 

Rachel Coates, do. 

Mary Arnold, do. 

Sarah Truman, do. 

Deborah P. Shaw, do. 

Mary Shaw, do. 

Sarah P. Shaw, do. 

Rebecca Shaw, do. 

Susan Grew, do. 

Sarah H. Palmer, do. 

Amy ']'. Stratlon, do. 

Rachel W. Healy, do. 

Esther Ann Fussell, do. 

Jane Fussell, Philadelphia. 

Rebecca Harrison, J\'ew Jersey. 

Mary Ann M'Clintock, Waterloo, J\'. Y. 

Hannah Dai-lington, H'est Chester, Pa. 

Mary Needles, Philadelphia. 

Klizabeth Warnei-, Bristol, Pa. 

Sarah Pearson, I'hiludelphia. 

Hannah Price, Pennsylvania. 

Rachel Basset, Wilmins^ton, Del. 

Sarah Coates, Philadelphia. 

Jane Smith, do. 

Phebe Pearson, do. 

Lydia Gillingham, do. 

Sarah Dorsey, do. 

Hetty Burr, do. 

Ann W. Longstreth, do. 

Sarah Pennock, do. 

Rachel C. Sellers, do. 

Elizabeth G. Butler, do. 

Amelia Bogle, do. 

Sarah Hunt, IFaterloo, JV*. T. 

Deborah Coates, Philadelphia. 

Lydia White, do. 

Elizabeth T. Garrigues, do. 

Hannah W. Ellis, do. 

Jane Peterson, do. 

Rachel E. Deacon, do. 

Elizabeth Henley, do. 

Esther E. Peterson, do. 

Sarah Pennock, jr. do. 

Mary Philips, Bucks county. Pa. 

Lucy Ann Peterson, Philadelphia. 

Elizabeth J . Neall, do. 

Elizabeth Bingham, do. 




Christian Friends, — In the spirit of unaffected kind- 
ness and respect, we now utter a few of our thoughts for 
your serious consideration. You are well aware what a 
change has passed over public sentiment with regard to your 
Society, since the days of George Fox. That great cham- 
pion of spiritual freedom says, " Prisons have been made 
my home a great part of my time, and I have been in dan- 
ger of my life, and in jeopardy daily." Gerard Croese, in 
his History of the Quakers, informs us that "All the rest of 
the world abhorred them and all their actions. Nay, in- 
veighed against them with the most reviling expressions, 
spreading this report that they were the veriest rogues of 
all men alive." But now the flattering change in popular 
opinion is embodied in a universal proverb; for the man 
who is uncommonly honest, and pre-eminently just, is said 
to give " Quaker measure." 

Of the concealed dangers and insidious temptations that 
arise when "all men speak well of you," it is needless to 
remind you; for the reflecting observer must be painfully 
aware of their existence and their power. But we doubt 
whether you are equally aware of the general scrutiny to 
which your opinions and practice are now subjected. Men, 
in their present keen search after truth, are every where 
struck with the obvious fact that the early Friends were 
very far in advance of their age in most of the great princi- 
ples of love, truth, and freedom. Among all sects, doubts 
are now arising whether war, under any circumstances, is 


not a violation of Gospel precepts; and the History of the 
Quakers is earnestly examined for instruction and encour- 
agement. Those who perceive how the immortal spirit of 
Woman is fettered by unjust laws, and repressed by social 
usages, are carefully comparing the women of your Society 
with those of other denominations. The enemies of Slavery 
quote your early testimony as an example to other churches. 
The sincere friends of Equality, struck with the Christian 
democracy of your principles, and the simplicity of your 
practice, eagerly inquire, " Does their love embrace the 
whole human race? Do they eat and drink with each other, 
without regard to rank or complexion? Is there no distinc- 
tion in their meeting-houses? Or is there, as elsewhere, a 
corner provided for a despised class?" The conscientious 
clergyman earnestly asks whether the unpaid ministry of 
the Friends is more free and bold in the advocacy of un- 
popular truths, than the paid ministry of other sects? 

Where is the light, toward which so many eyes are 
anxiously turning? Alas! it is burning dimly, like sur- 
rounding lights — half extinguished by the stifling vapor of 
the world! 

To the believers in human progress, — to the earnest friends 
of the whole brotherhood of man, — the Society of Friends 
are mainly interesting and instructive for what they have 
been. It has been eloquently said that "Truth can never 
die. If the form it once animated becomes dead, it has, like 
the soul of man, a glorious resurrection." Therefore, not 
in vain did George Fox so bravely struggle to throw from 
him the bondage of a selfish world and a formal church. 
Not in vain did the serene example of William Penn 
shine forth, like a mild and solitary star, amid the dark 
storms of violence and hatred. The truths they embodied 
in word and deed have become an everlasting portion of 
man's spiritual wealth. If smothered by cowardice, or 
wordly wisdom, in one breast, they take refuge in another; 
and because no sect is now found worthy to represent them, 


they are re-appearing in new forms among individuals of all 

Why is it that these living examples are not abundantly 
more numerous among the professed followers of Penn, 
than among other denominations? Why was it that thou- 
sands upon thousands felt the power of your early testimony, 
and gentry, and nobles, yea, even princes, reverently yielded 
to its influence? And why is it that such fruits are not 
found as the result of your labor? 

It is because such a thing as hereditary religion cannot 
be. The spiritual nobility, that builds itself upon a deceased 
ancestry, cannot have life in it. If we would reign with 
Jesus, we must ourselves follow him through the crucifixion. 
We must ourselves live in continual opposition to the spirit 
and maxims of a selfish world. The early Friends did this; 
therefore they were reviled and persecuted; and because 
they were thus lifted above the world, they had power to 
draw men unto them. 

There was a time when, in most European languages, it 
was deemed an insult to say thou to a superior, or even 
to an equal in rank ; and the use of that simple word involved 
inconvenience and danger, because it became, for the time, 
the representative of the great principle of human equality. 
But that interpretation has long since passed away from the 
English language; and you incur neither hazard nor disgrace 
by retaining this form of speech. Neither are you now in 
danger of being sent to prison for wearing a hat in presence 
of Duke or Governor. Indeed, the constancy and passive 
courage of early Friends so far remoulded governments and 
society, that all their peculiar practices may now be follow- 
ed without periling life or liberty, and almost without in- 
curring reproach. 

As society moves onward in its slow progress toward 
perfection, the same principles must be continually applied 
to new forms of opposition. The Cross will always be in 
our path; and whosoever takes it up humbly and earnestly, 



and bears it bravely in the face of a scoiFing world, will find 
that it never loses its wonderfully life-giving power. The 
seventeenth century had crosses peculiarly its own; and they 
who bore them wear the crown. The nineteenth calls for 
similar strong and enduring spirits to bear its appropriate 
burdens; and now, as then, " No Cross no Crown." If Chris- 
tians would regenerate their own age, they must vigorously 
oppose the peculiar errors and vices, the passions and the 
prejudices of that age. 

Seriously and affectionately, we would appeal to your own 
consciences, whether the Friends, as a Society, are now 
faithfully performing this duty. While the Lord is evi- 
dently doing a great work in the world, and portions of all 
nations and sects are zealously laboring to " prepare for Him 
a highway in the desert," the voice of your Society is 
heard exclaiming, "Israel shall dwell alone!" "Mingle 
not with the excitements of the world!" 

Why so much afraid of excitements? Shall we hesitate 
to follow Jesus, because he has told us that he came " not 
to send peace upon earth, but a sword?" George Fox never 
shunned declaring the whole counsel of God, because it 
produced excitement. Scarcely Paul himself occasioned a 
greater uproar, or was more loudly accused of turning the 
world upside down. And if some women, now engaged 
in the cause of the oppressed, are called " shameless dis- 
turbers of the peace," let it not be forgotten that Mary 
Dyer was persecuted, even unto death, upon the same 

We are well aware that the early opinions of your So- 
ciety, with regard to slavery, have never been retracted; 
nor are we unmindful of your numerous acts of benevolence 
toward the colored race. These claims upon our respect 
are most cordially acknowledged. But, with that plainness 
of speech which you so much approve, allow us to ask 
what your Society is doing in the present tremendous 
struggle between justice and oppression, humanity and vio- 


lence? Do you mostly expend your energies in reproving 
those who uphold a wicked system, or those who with 
honest zeal are striving to overthrow it? Do you encour- 
age and sustain those of your own members who feel called 
to this arduous work? Or do you multiply obstacles in 
their path, thus inducing them to labor with other sects 
or violate their own consciences? Is the pride of caste less 
strong in you than in others? It is true you are not slave- 
holders, and continue to believe no Christian should be im- 
plicated in a system so unrighteous. That work your fathers 
did for you long ago. But what are yow doing to prove 
your hearty abhorrence of slavery? We should all agree 
what to think of a man who, in the time of your early 
persecutions, claimed to be called a Friend, because he be- 
lieved oaths and war were sinful, yet preferred, for the 
sake of quiet, to remain silent concerning those evils, or to 
employ himself in pointing out the errors and im.perfections 
of those who were bearing an honest testimony against 

You have sometimes urged that you could not unite with 
abolitionists, because you deemed them rash and intolerant. 
Among the great variety of temperaments and characters 
engaged in the anti-slavery cause, there must unavoidably 
be some foundation for a charge like this; though candid 
minds, in view of the difficulties by which these reformers 
are surrounded, will marvel that their mistakes have been so 
few, and their errors so unimportant. But admitting the 
accusation to be true to a very great extent, we do not see 
how this can absolve you from working earnestly in some 
way, of your own choosing. If they are harsh and head- 
strong, so much the more need of your mild and peaceful 

The fiat of the Almighty has gone forth that slavery 
shall cease to pollute the earth. The giant task must be 
accomplished; though the "wise and the prudent" of this 
world will, to the last, avoid all participation in it. 


Be not sleeping in your tents in an hour like this I By 
the pure light of your early testimony — for the sake of your 
own vitality and influence as a society — in the name of the 
suiFering and degraded slave, and of the deluded and cor- 
rupted master — we beseech you come up to this work with 
earnest hearts, and help us to do it wisely and speedily. 

In behalf of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American 
Women, assembled in Philadelphia. 

SARAH LEWIS, President. 
Martha V. Ball, \ 

A^""^"^?' S''^"''''' \ Secretaries. 
Anna M. Hopper, I 

Marv Grkw, J 






The opposition vviiich we have to encounter as a Conven- 
tion of American Women, — the scorn which we excite in 
some, and the unaffected concern which we awaken in 
others, render it incumbent upon us to address you upon 
that subject, which, above all others, has drawn upon us 
odium and reproach — the admission of our colored sisters to 
that intercourse with us, which their moral worth demands. 
As we have been blamed without measure, we would ask a 
patient hearing: first "prove all things, then hold fast that 
which is good." Many of you, as individuals, w"ould be 
incapable of denying to any human being, whatever sympa- 
thy and alleviation it was in your power to bestow in cases 
of corporeal suffering; then why should you be regardless 
of the deep wrong which you inflict by shunning the sensi- 
tive, the generous, the noble-spirited, who, though they may 
be qualified for the highest intellectual enjoyment, are yet 
too modest and retiring to contend for the advantages freely 
extended to all of the white race capable of appreciating 
them ? 

To a certain point, many of you encourage the colored 
man's efforts for improvement; you benevolently rejoice in 
witnessing his advancement in all those branches of educa- 
tion necessary to the mechanic or tradesman; but if he press 


still farther, — if lie should aspire to indulge a refined taste, 
to satisfy the cravings of a cultivated mind by mingling with 
congenial society, you frown him back with scorn and con- 
tempt. The indignities and the outrages to which such are 
subjected, — the " wrongs which wring the very soul," can 
scarcely be credited by those who have not identified them- 
selves with this injured people. Would it be believed that 
our museums, our literary and scientific lectures, our public 
exhibitions, which contribute so much to the intelligence of 
a people, are generally closed against this portion of our 
population ? A short anecdote will prove that moral and 
intellectual elevation does not disarm this prejudice. 

A young portrait painter of this city, actuated by a laud- 
able desire of improvement in his favorite art, hoping to 
enjoy a privilege from which he was elsewhere debarred, 
went to the Philadelphia Artists' Exhibition. He was one 
whose eye 

" Had been unsealed by nature, and his mind 
Was full of nice perceptions; and a love, 
Deep and intense, for what was beautiful, 
Thrill'd like vitality around his heart 
With an ennobling influence." 

But even he was doomed to disappointment. He troubled 
the pure stream of the white man's pleasure, in thus attempt- 
ing to gratify the cravings of his spirit by a draught from 
the same fountain, and the door-keeper was ordered instantly 
to eject the intruder. Now, putting "your souls in his 
soul's stead" — contemplate the withering blight thus shed 
upon a young aspiring spirit, and say whether these things 
should exist in a community of Christians professing to act 
upon the precept, " whatsoever ye would that men should 
do unto you, do ye even so unto them." 

But our young artist found a friend in one of the mem- 
bers of this Convention; under her patronage he pursued his 
profession, until, he had realized a sufficient sum to carry 
him to a distant land, whence, in a letter, he thus touchingly 
expresses his acknowledgments for her friendship, and his 


sense of the advantages from which he had been debarred: — 
"The very few occasions which I have had of mingling in 
good society, where the monster prejudice was not strong 
enough to exclude me from the intellectual feast, and where 
I have had opportunities of realizing those ideas of the pre- 
sence of superior minds, which, drawn from books, were 
floating in my imagination, vague and indefinite, were 
within your hospitable dwelling, and they will always be 
remembered by me with pleasurable emotions." Will the 
most fastidious say, that there is any thing ^'■demoralizing''^ 
in exciting such feelings as these? Who would disdain thus 
to dispense " the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of 
praise for the spirit of heaviness." 

We know that we have the sympathy and prayers of 
those on whose behalf we appeal: as one of them said, "I 
have prayed that abolitionists may not shrink from the trial; 
that strength may be given them to endure the scoffs and 
jeers which they may meet in treating us as they treat their 
own people." 

We talk a great deal about the degradation of the free 
colored people. At whose door may the blame of their de- 
gradation be laid? As Jefferson has truly said, "it is the 
work of ourselves and our children." But let them alone, 
say some, and they will elevate themselves; we have no- 
thing to do with it. Nothing to do with it, when we are 
trampling them in the very dust? Nothing to do with it, 
when we "have taken away the key of knowledge, and them 
that were entering in we hindered?" 

Is it possible for them to accomplish their elevation while 
we retain our violent prejudices against them? And even 
should they succeed, will not the objector querulously ex- 
claim, "How intrusive these people are?" 

Women of America! we entreat you to ponder these 
things in your hearts; to consider how far you are "guilty 
concerning your brother." It is in your power, to roll 
back this tide of cruel prejudice, which overwhelms thou- 


sands of our fellow creatures, equally gifted with ourselves 
by our common Father, though ruthlessly robbed of their 
heritage. Popular sentiment would forbid your associating, 
on terms of friendship, with any of the proscribed class, 
whatever may be their claims to your regard; for the deli- 
cacy of woman is compromised, it is said, by social inter- 
course with a colored sister, yet we find her wordly dignity 
increased in a wonderful ratio by every additional colored 
servant whom she can display in her train. Ought you to 
be surprised, then, that, unheeding the requirements of this 
inconsistent public opinion, unmoved by the scoffs of the 
jester, and unappalled by the threats of the vulgar, we en- 
treat you to adhere to the Christian rule of right and justice. 
Endeavoring to apply this rule, we call, on behalf of our 
colored sister, for an equal participation with yourselves, in 
every social advantage, moral, literary and religious; assur- 
ed that as we conscientiously tread the path of our duty the 
difficulties will disappear, and we shall each be able to say 
in the words of a celebrated writer, "That power which 
has swept from my heart the dust of prejudice, has taught 
me also to respect excellence wherever found." 

In behalf of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American 
Women, assembled at Philadelphia. 

SARAH LEWIS, President. 

Martha V. Ball, 

Mary Grew, 

Anna M. Hopper, 

Sarah G. Buffum. 







This Circular is addressed to all who sincerely desire the 
slave's emancipation. Its subject is not new; it has been 
presented to you again and again, until, perhaps, some of 
you are as weary of it as of a " twice told tale," and will cast 
this paper aside as soon as you have ascertained its charac- 
ter. But we entreat you to read it; not because its subject 
is presented in a new, or peculiarly interesting manner, but 
to give us an opportunity to stir up your minds to the re- 
membrance of the slave's wrongs and your duties. We are 
aware that many of you have, for several successive years, 
annually devoted yourselves to the work of procuring sig- 
natures to memorials to Congress, praying for the abolition 
of slavery, and that you have willingly and cheerfully ex- 
pended your time and strength, "in season and out of sea- 
son," for this purpose, and not having witnessed results 
proportionate to such efforts, it is possible that some are 
almost discouraged, and ready to say, "We have labored in 
vain, we have spent our strength for naught." Our design 
in addressing you is to urge you to repeat, during this year, 
with increased fidelity and perseverance, this same arduous 

There are a variety of memorials which you have proba- 
bly been accustomed to circulate, addressed to Congress, or 
your State Legislatures, praying for the repeal of oppressive 



laws, the granting of a jury trial to reputed fugitive slaves, 
etc. All these we recommend to your attention, but espe- 
cially urge the importance of petitions to Congress for the 
abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and in Flo- 
rida, and of the slave trade between the states. 

Allow us, dear sisters, to remind you of one or two rea- 
sons why this duty is peculiarly incumbent upon us. 

It is our only means of direct political action. It' is not 
ours to fill the offices of government, or to assist in the 
election of those who shall fill them. We do not enact or 
enforce the laws of the land. The only direct influence 
which we can exert upon our Legislatures, is by protests and 
petitions. Shall we not, then, be greatly delinquent if we 
neglect these 7 

We shall not be suspected of party motives. However 
our legislators may regard our requests, whatever insults 
they may heap on our names, they will not, they cannot, 
for a moment, suppose that we are influenced by any of the 
selfish motives of political partisanship, which they so 
quickly detect in their own sex. They will believe in our 
sincerity^ and this belief will be greatly advantageous to 
the success of our memorials. 

There are other reasons which should induce us not to 
relax, but to redouble our eflbrts in this department of our 
labor. Slavery is annually increasing the number of its 
wretched victims. Thousands, since we last circulated pe- 
titions, have commenced their dreary life of bitter bondage. 
Ought not the increased number of our petitions, this year, 
to testify that we remember this mournful fact? Our be- 
loved country is annually increasing her guilt and danger. 
Our time for earthly toil, too, is rapidly passing away, and 
we shall do well to heed the admonition, " Work while the 
day lasts." We know, dear sisters, that this is a weary 
work. We have deeply felt the difficulties and trials that 
attend it. We know how painful it is to endure the scorn- 
ful gaze, or rude repulses of strangers, as journeying from 


house to house to solicit their sympathy for the crushed 
and heart-broken slave, we see them turn away in hot dis- 
pleasure or cold indifference. At such seasons, let us send 
our thoughts away to the plantations of the South, where 
they, for whose sake we endure all this, drag out their sad 
existence. Let us see them in the rice fields, the cotton 
fields, the sugar plantations, bending over their tasks, their 
bodies lacerated with cruel scourgings, and their hearts 
bleeding in anguish for their loved and lost ones, scattered, 
they know not whither, and as we contrast the bitterness of 
their sufferings with our toils for their redemption, we shall 
gather fresh strength and courage. And could we see the 
smile which sometimes lights up the sad features of the 
slave, when he remembers that he has heard of friends in 
the far North, who are striving to rescue him, and hear the 
prayer and blessing which go up from his bursting heart 
for us, how would it inspire our souls with new vigor and 
devotedness to our work! Let such visions cheer us on- 
ward, and let us, above all, go forth to the work panoplied 
with prayer. 

Li conclusion, we have a few words to say to those who 
are very willing to sign an anti-slavery petition, yet excuse 
themselves from the labor of circulating it. You acknow- 
ledge that it is our duty to send such petitions to Con- 
gress, and, consequently, that it is the duty of some of us 
to procure signatures to them. You would not consent 
that this work should be suspended, even for one year. 
Yet if all were to follow your example, it would inevitably 
cease. The duty which we urge does not, of course, de- 
volve upon every one of you. Each must decide for her- 
self the question of personal obligation in the matter. It 
may be that from the heavy pressure of domestic duties, or 
from other causes, you are not able to spend even an occasional 
hour in pleading the cause of the slave among your friends 
and neighbors. We would only suggest that before making 
such a decision, you will, as nearly as possible, place your 


soul "in his soul's stead." Let the mother gather her 
children about her, and see them seized, sold, and driven 
away to southern markets and plantations, there to spend 
their lives in mental and moral degradation, that they may 
minister to the avarice and ambition of taskmasters, whose 
"tender mercies are cruel!" Let the daughter and the 
sister imagine to themselves a home made desolate by 
slavery's polluting touch, — let us all endeavor, for a few 
hours at least, to " remember those in bonds as bound ivith 
them,'' and then answer the question, Shall I circulate an 
anti-slavery petition? 

SARAH LEWIS, President. 

Martha V, Ball, 

Sarah G. Bupfum, 

A .. T\/r u^ (-Secretaries. 

Anna M. Hopper, |' 

Mary Grew, J 

54 V 

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